Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a medical problem, just like heart disease or diabetes.

 Mental illness is treatable. The vast majority of individuals with mental illness continue to function in their daily lives.

What Is Mental Illness?

Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in thinking, emotion or behavior, or a combination of these. Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.

How Common Is Mental Illness?

Mental illness is common. In a given year:

  • nearly one in five (19 percent) U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness
  • one in 24 (4.1 percent) has a serious mental illness
  • one in 12 (8.5 percent) has a substance use disorder

Severe and persistent mental illness is less common, but still afflicts 3% of the population.

Where can I learn more about specific mental illnesses and mental health conditions?

Learn about common mental disorders including DepressionAnxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Schizophrenia and others, as well as symptoms, risk factors and treatment options on the American Psychiatric Association website: